Vol. XI No. 4
Friday 24 January - 30 January 2003

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Updated every Friday
by Parisa Santithi

 


LETTERS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Record breaking kids

Happy to fly here

Problem postal worker

Too much noise

Oil on the beach

More lessons learned

Faulty Goods

Car foibles

Funniest story of the year

Record breaking kids

Dear Editor,

I am a teacher at Primrose School of Lake Hill in Frisco, Texas. My class and I are attempting to get into the Guinness Book of World Records by Most Postcards Received. My class is very excited and we would love to gather postcards from everywhere. If you would please print this in your paper and ask people to send postcards to:

Primrose School Of Lake Hill

Ms. Crystal’s Class

6719 single creek

Frisco, Tx 75035

This would make 23 kids very excited to know that they made a little bit of history. Thank you for your time,

Crystal Vickers


Happy to fly here

Editor;

In response to the article amazing noise, I would like to add that one of the reasons I love Pattaya is the easy access to jet skis and the great ambiance on Jomtien Beach. This beautiful, unregulated Thailand is what makes the country so special.

I agree with the point of there being too many deck chairs on the beach. I certainly would be happy to fly 12 hours to come to such a great place, especially when it is minus 15 in Europe in winter.

Matthew J. Montgomery


Problem postal worker

Dear Sir,

I have read the letter to the editor from PA UK (Problem postal worker moved to Bangkok) in your last Friday’s edition with great interest! We are living nearly 3 years in Banglamung district and for over 2 years we had no problems receiving all kinds of mail from overseas. In the last 4 to 5 months however, we know that we have not received (pre-advised) overseas mail on 4 occasions. And interestingly enough, every time it was a thick envelope!

Our guess is that somebody expects money in these envelopes, opens them and then disappointedly throws the mail away. Lucky enough we had no important documents sent to us but it is frustrating all the same not receiving mail from our loved ones!

We are now trying to find out where to place a written complaint.

Yours faithfully,

Nick & Apiradee Matt


Too much noise

Editor;

Why is there a terrible din wherever one goes in Thailand? A so-called karaoke bar will open up business right smack where hundreds of people live. From this day on these poor people will not get any rest or sleep till 2 o’clock in the morning. 7 days a week! Full blast till the eardrums pop.

This is truly barbaric. This alone is a reason never to come back to Thailand again. TAT take notice.

Sven Gustaffson and family


Oil on the beach

Editor;

I recently received a phone call from my brother living in Switzerland, asking me about the Pattaya black tide. “Which black tide are you talking about?” I asked. Apparently this subject was on the first page of Swiss newspapers, whilst in the Thai press nothing was mentioned at the time, unless I missed it. I found out one morning, when I stepped on blobs of black stuff during my morning walk on the beach.

So I was very interested by your article on the 27 December and the photos. But I was surprised that the big scoop, the very important subject on page 1 was that public places of entertainment would exceptionally remain open till 6 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. How lucky we are!

Relegated to page 4 was your warning not to swim, and not to eat regional seafood in affected areas. Not so important after all that we risk skin irritation and/or food poisoning. As long as we could stay up till 6 a.m. on New Year’s Eve!

In conclusion, my question is: is the Pattaya Mail under the authority of the TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand)? If yes, what is the point of hiding problems to the Thai public whilst most potential foreign tourists will know about them through their local press?

Amazed in Naklua


More lessons learned

Editor;

This example of selective police enforcement is for Lessons Learned.

When I reported a theft to the tourist police, I was taken to a police car while followed with another police car and a motorcycle escort and the whole convoy went straight to the criminal’s apartment... Of course, this official concern may just have been prompted by something that happen while giving my statement to a bored officer. I had the criminal’s phone number and during the follow-up call (itself amazing) the officer suddenly stood and screamed, “She hung up on me!”

Selective indeed.

Ken Clayton


Faulty Goods

Dear Editor,

I would beseech fellow readers of Pattaya Mail to hinder the auspices of my experiences: buying faulty goods in Pattaya.

Firstly, I bought an electric toaster, so that I might enjoy the treat of toasted bread and marmalade. Sadly the toaster proved to have a mind of its own. It either popped-up bread much under-done, or else cremated my quality loaf into charcoal. I returned the offending toaster to the retail outlet of purchase and upon requesting a refund was rebuffed with an icy rebuke, then frog-marched to a ‘No Returns’ notice ingeniously hidden behind a disused cash register.

Secondly, I purchased a line of one hundred coloured lights, erected them within my bathroom for decorative purposes. Alarmingly, I have experienced a number of electrical shocks whilst performing my morning ablutions close by to the tiny bulbs. I suspect that these lights are of poor quality.

Thirdly, and by no means least, I purchased a duvet to coddle myself from the early morning chill. Upon awakening this morning I realised that due to its sub-standard design, I had become completely tangled up within it.

I urge readers to contemplate those wise words Caveat Emptor: ‘Let the buyer beware’!

Ignatious Riley


Car foibles

Editor:

Shortly after I came to live in Pattaya nearly four years ago, another farang who had been living here for many years and who spoke and read Thai fluently, befriended me and showed me around. One day he happened to be reading through the classified adverts section of a Thai newspaper and pointed out what sounded to me like a nice car at an affordable price. I therefore agreed to go to Bangkok with him to have a look at it. It was a private sale and the car looked in good condition with fairly low mileage. I was told that the owner was a bit of a playboy who needed to raise some cash quickly. So, I thought ‘why not’ and made an offer for it. A few days later the offer was accepted, and I went to Bangkok again with my newfound friend to pay for it and collect all the documentation.

I was very happy with it for about a week, then the troubles started: Firstly with a flat battery, so I bought a new battery. Then a stronger more expensive battery. Then a replacement alternator after a 6 week service at the manufacturer’s appointed agent in Bangkok. Followed by a replacement water pump and thermostat during a further 5 week inspection of the car by the agents because the car was overheating when it was returned after the first service. After less than one week following its return this time, the clutch went. It was then away for a further 7 weeks. When it came back a piston went.

The car was in the garage for a period of 21 weeks this time waiting for the parts to come from abroad before someone suggested that I replace the whole engine with a Japanese one. I was told that the Thais do it all the time, because they can’t get the parts for foreign engines or get them serviced properly, so again I thought; ‘why not’, and transferred the vehicle to a local garage in Pattaya where the owner said he could obtain a good imported Japanese engine and replace the existing one in 2 to 4 weeks. That was exactly 2 years ago. I have, of course, been visiting the garage regularly to be updated on the latest excuse as to why they need another couple of weeks to finish the work, but now I feel that I will not live to see the day that it is actually back on the road again. I have noticed several other non-Japanese cars that have been in this garage as long as mine has. So mine is obviously not an isolated case.

To be fair, after the first 9 months the garage owner did proudly announce that the car would be ready to road-test in two days time. However, the following day he sheepishly telephoned me to tell me that; unfortunately, when they started the car, it caught fire. At this point I gave up and immediately purchased a new Japanese car with a 3 year warranty, with which I am very happy. Nevertheless, I would still like to have my other car back in working order sometime. It has, after all cost me in total nearly 3 times what I paid for my new Japanese car.

As I say, my car has now been off the road and in the garage for exactly 2 years (to do a job which the garage owner entered into a formal written and signed contract with me to complete the job within 4 weeks). I visited my car on its off-the-road anniversary and was assured by the garage owner that he needed just 4 more weeks to put it back on the road. Needless-to-say, I don’t believe him but I don’t know what to do about it.

My present intention is to remove the car from the garage as soon as possible after this further period of 4 weeks has expired, without paying the garage owner one baht more of my money. If any Pattaya Mail reader knows what my legal position is in this respect and/or if anyone knows of a garage that could take the car and put it back on the road in proper working order, I would be eternally grateful. I will now avidly watch the letters section in Pattaya Mail for the next few weeks in the hope that someone can come to my rescue.

Yours truly Duped


Funniest story of the year

Editor;

Can I make an early nomination of your front page story on the Thai government’s safe driving project for the award of funniest story of 2003? There isn’t even a pretense of enforcement of driver license or road rule law in Thailand. And nowhere is it worse than Pattaya! After my blood pressure medication had to be doubled from my driving experiences here, I gave it away and now use a trustworthy baht bus driver (yes, they do exist). He endures the anguish for me.

I find it interesting that Korat had the highest incidence of driving injuries and was second highest in road deaths. A few months ago I took a Thai friend to his home there to obtain his driving license. After a 20 minute paper test and a 3 minute road test in the parking lot (but of course a 6 hour wait), he along with everyone else who apparently fronted got the license. But if we had paid off the parking attendant on arrival, the whole thing could have been expedited, with no testing at all in the hour! But then at least half the car drivers and a higher percentage of the motorbike drivers never even bother to do this exercise, and it never seems to phase our police. Probably one-half the motorbike drivers are not old enough to apply in any case.

Ernie in Naklua



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